Evaluation of cropping activities in the Adarsha watershed project, southern India uri icon

abstract

  • Baseline data and data taken both during and after a watershed development program, recording cropping activities in a semi-arid watershed in Telangana, India, were analyzed. Watershed development contributed to the sustainable yield improvement of dryland crops by rehabilitating the productive capacity of the land through water and soil conservation techniques. On the basis of long-term data collected from farm households in the watershed, we explored ways to increase crop productivity and sustainability. Investment in soil and water conservation significantly impacted agricultural development, most particularly during droughts. Farmers realized returns to land amounting to US $720 ha(-1) from cotton, $295 ha(-1) from flowers, $287 ha(-1) from vegetables and $171 ha(-1) from cereals. Mean returns to labour, irrespective of crop strategies, was $10 per person-day. Irrigation facilities in the watershed encouraged the growing of water-intensive crops but dryland crops were also more profitable as various in-situ and ex-situ interventions increased soil-moisture, providing congenial conditions for them. The responses were best during the watershed intervention period: yields of maize intercropped with pigeonpea were increased by 148 %, pigeonpea 100 %, sole sorghum 91 % and cotton 76.2 %. While droughts reduced the average share of household crop income in the non-watershed area from 44 to 12 %, this share remained unchanged at about 36 % in the watershed area. We deduce that watershed interventions have a positive influence on building resilient crop production.
  • Baseline data and data taken both during and after a watershed development program, recording cropping activities in a semi-arid watershed in Telangana, India, were analyzed. Watershed development contributed to the sustainable yield improvement of dryland crops by rehabilitating the productive capacity of the land through water and soil conservation techniques. On the basis of long-term data collected from farm households in the watershed, we explored ways to increase crop productivity and sustainability. Investment in soil and water conservation significantly impacted agricultural development, most particularly during droughts. Farmers realized returns to land amounting to US $720 ha?1 from cotton, $295 ha?1 from flowers, $287 ha?1 from vegetables and $171 ha?1 from cereals. Mean returns to labour, irrespective of crop strategies, was $10 per person-day. Irrigation facilities in the watershed encouraged the growing of water-intensive crops but dryland crops were also more profitable as various in-situ and ex-situ interventions increased soil-moisture, providing congenial conditions for them. The responses were best during the watershed intervention period: yields of maize inter cropped with pigeonpea were increased by 148 %, pigeonpea 100 %, sole sorghum 91 % and cotton 76.2 %. While droughts reduced the average share of household crop income in the non-watershed area from 44 to 12 %, this share remained unchanged at about 36 % in the watershed area. We deduce that watershed interventions have a positive influence on building resilient crop production

publication date

  • 2016
  • 2016
  • 2016